The European Union (EU) unveiled plans Tuesday for a new border and coastguard force that can intervene even without the host country’s consent, saying it had to restore security threatened by the migration crisis.
The new agency will have a quick reaction force of 1,500 guards and a “right to intervene” in EU nations that are either overwhelmed or are deemed to be failing to secure their frontiers.
With one million mainly Syrian refugees and migrants set to arrive in Europe this year, the record flow has raised fears for the future of the Schengen passport-free zone, while the Paris attacks have brought the security aspect under the spotlight.
But some member states in the 28-nation EU are hostile to the idea of a plan that could see them cede sovereignty over their own land and sea borders to bureaucrats in Brussels.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said the new force could take over management of national borders in “exceptional situations” where a member state was unable to cope.
“This is a safety net which, like all safety nets, we hope will never need to be used. But it is essential to restore the credibility of our border management system,” Timmermans said as he presented the plan to the European Parliament.
Brussels also set out plans to resettle some refugees directly from Turkey, the main launching point for most of the refugees coming to Europe.